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US DoE announces US$ 67 million investment in post-combustion CCS

World Coal,

The US Department of Energy (DoE) has announced the selection of ten projects aimed at developing post combustion carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. The projects, valued at up to US$ 67 million over three years, focus on reducing the energy and efficiency penalties associated with applying currently available CCS technologies to existing and new power plants. Selections include the following:

Bench-scale development and testing


American Air Liquide Inc.

This two-year project will develop a cost-effective system for CO2 capture based on the performance achieved by the sub-ambient temperature operation of the Air Liquide hollow fiber membrane. The membrane will be coupled with cryogenic processing technology in a closed-loop test system that will verify the effect of possible contaminants, such as SOx, NOx and water, on membrane performance at levels relevant to coal-fired power plants. Experimental results will be used to refine the integrated process simulation and to design a slipstream facility.

Gas Technology Institute

Partnering with PoroGen Corp. and Aker Process Systems, Gas Technology Institute proposes a three year effort to develop cost-effective hybrid separation technology for CO2 capture from flue gases based on a combination of absorption and hollow fiber membrane technologies. The technology could also apply to removal of numerous other gas pollutants, such as NOx and SOx, separation of CO2 from hydrogen in refinery streams, and separation of CO2 from natural gas (natural gas sweetening).


3H Co. LLC

3H Co. and partners will confirm experimentally and analytically the feasibility of 3H Co.’s patented Self-Concentrating Absorbent CO2 Capture Process. The process is based on amines in a non-aqueous solvent, which upon reaction with CO2, will separate into two distinct phases: a CO2-rich liquid phase and a dilute lean phase. Preliminary experimental data show that the process has the potential of reducing the total regeneration energy by as much as 70%. During the three-year project, the team will also develop an engineering design, supported by laboratory data and economic justification, to construct and operate a slipstream demonstration facility at an E-ON power plant in the US as a next stage of commercialisation development.

Akermin Inc

Akermin proposes to demonstrate the ability to capture up to 90% of CO2 from a simulated flue gas using a solvent with significantly lower regeneration energy at rates comparable to those of conventional monoethanolamine. Over the course of the two year project, Akermin will optimise solvent formulation and demonstrate process efficacy for treating up to 2000 standard l/hour of gas.

ION Engineering LLC

In a 15 month project, ION Engineering and partners will fabricate, install, and operate a bench-scale carbon capture unit to process flue gas at an operating power plant using amine-based solvents, which are highly effective for CO2 capture. ION's innovative approach to solvent formulation employs an ionic liquid instead of water as the physical solvent, greatly reducing the energy required to regenerate the amines and significantly lowering process water usage. In addition to a 60% reduction in energy requirement, ionic liquid-amine solvent mixtures offer higher CO2 capacities, reduced corrosion, reduced solvent losses and other benefits, when compared to traditional aqueous amine technologies.

University of Illinois

Collaborators at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Parsons Corp. will investigate the use of a carbonate salt (potassium or sodium carbonate) as a solvent for absorption-based, post-combustion CO2 capture. A preliminary techno-economic evaluation shows that energy use with the Hot Carbonate Absorption Process (CAP) is about half that of a conventional monoethanolamine process. The research team will perform a proof-of-concept study aimed at generating process engineering and scale-up data to help advance Hot-CAP technology to the pilot-scale demonstration level within three years.

URS Group

URS Group Inc. and partners will investigate the use of concentrated piperazine (PZ) as a solvent for absorbing CO2 from coal-fired power plant flue gas. PZ coupled with two-stage flash regeneration at 150°C offers several advantages over other solvents, including faster CO2 absorption rate, higher CO2 capacity, lower volatility, negligible thermal degradation, negligible oxidative degradation when used with an inhibitor, and production of CO2 at elevated pressure (resulting in lower compression costs). The three year project will be conducted initially at a 0.1 MW scale and ultimately with a 0.5 MW unit designed and constructed for a final test campaign with the absorber at DOE's National Carbon Capture Center. 


Slipstream development and testing


Membrane Technology and Research Inc. (MTR)

MTR and partners will construct a 1 MW membrane skid capable of 90% CO2 capture from a slipstream flow of 20 tpd CO2 in coal-fired flue gas during a six month field test at Arizona Public Service’s Cholla power plant. Field test data and membrane performance data obtained at the National Carbon Capture Center will allow a thorough techno-economic evaluation of the membrane capture process over the three year project and will clarify the relative potential of the approach.


Siemens Energy Inc

Siemens Energy will design, install, and operate a pilot plant for treating a slipstream (1 MW equivalent) at the TECO Energy Big Bend station to demonstrate POSTCAP technology for post-combustion CO2 gas capture. Siemens' POSTCAP technology utilises an amino acid salt formulation as a solvent for CO2 absorption.

Solid Sorbents


ADA-ES and partners will refine the conceptual design of a commercial solid sorbent-based, post-combustion CO2 capture technology through slipstream pilot testing and process modeling. A pilot unit (1 MW) will be designed and constructed for operation at one of the cost-share participant's power plant sites to demonstrate solid sorbent-based CO2 capture on actual flue gas for at least two continuous months. The pilot tests and process modeling during the 39 month project will provide the information necessary to complete a techno-economic analysis of the technology.

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